Plans to transform Mansfield’s former Beales store take major step forward with huge funding boost

A scheme to transform the former Beales department store building in Mansfield town centre has taken a huge step forward with the announcement of £20 million of Levelling Up funding.
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Mansfield Council wants to transform the former Beales building into a civic hub. The ‘Mansfield Connect’ proposal would see the 1930s’ art deco building extended and modernised to provide a new headquarters for the council, alongside a variety of other agencies.

Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, said: “The Mansfield Connect project will offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop new solutions to some of the district’s challenges.

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“The scheme forms a vital part of our ambitious long-term town centre regeneration plans. Our new multi-agency civic and community hub, at the former Beales department store, will see a new multi-partner facility and provide a new headquarters for the council.

Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, outside the former Beales store in Mansfield.Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, outside the former Beales store in Mansfield.
Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, outside the former Beales store in Mansfield.

“But it’s not just about the council. This new hub will see the co-ordination of services across arrange of partners including Nottinghamshire Council alongside community, health, work and education and skills agencies.

“It will also be a beacon for evening activities with potentially dining, lifestyle and business opportunities. The building has long needed repurposing and will be brought back to life to rejuvenate our town centre. This repurposing will then have a knock-on effect, stimulating our local economy and encouraging private-sector investment into Mansfield District, which benefits everybody.

“Mansfield Connect will improve the coordination and delivery of public services to our residents – acting as a one-stop shop. Mansfield Connect is all about connecting our place, our communities and our services for the benefit of the district and its residents.

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“It will also generate extra footfall in the town centre and act as a catalyst for wider development, stimulating both the day and night-time economy in the town centre. This marks a radical step forward for Mansfield.”

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Coun Ben Bradley, Mansfield MP and Nottinghamshire Council leader, said: “The potential for the old Beales building to be developed and brought back into use has long been talked about and this money from government means these plans can finally become reality and we can get construction started.

“If Beales is properly utilised it can prove to be that key draw factor we need to bring people and businesses back into our town centre, as well as providing vital services to local people.”

A total of 11 projects in the East Midlands have been allocated more than £176m from round two of the government’s Levelling Up Fund with aim of benefiting millions of people across the East Midlands by spreading opportunity and breathing new life into historically overlooked areas.

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The projects are designed to create jobs, drive economic growth, help restore people’s pride in the places where they live and spread opportunity more equally.

Other grants include £18m to rejuvenate Worksop town centre, £16.5m to repair the iconic Bennerley Viaduct in Kimberley and £3.1m to transform Sutton’s Sherwood Observatory with a planetarium and education centre.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:  “This new funding will create jobs, drive economic growth, and help to restore local pride. We are delivering on the people’s priorities, levelling up across the UK to ensure that no matter where you are from, you can go as far as your talents will take you.”